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Lesson Transcript

Fernando: Welcome everyone. This is Absolute Beginner Season 1, Lesson 12. It's Just that I Haven’t Studied Spanish Today. I’m Fernando and I’m joined by JP. JP, how are you?
JP: I’m fine, Fernando.
Fernando: Wonderful.
JP: Welcome everyone to the new Spanish pod 101 where we’re studying modern Spanish in a fun and educational format. So whether you started learning Spanish long ago or you’re starting your Spanish journey with us today, we are glad to have you with us. Now Fernando, tell us what we’re going to learn in this lesson today.
Fernando: In this lesson you will learn about transition words and phrases. This conversation takes place at the office and the conversation is between Belen and Esteban. The speakers will be using the familiar register.
JP: All right. Let’s take a listen to this conversation.

Lesson conversation

Belén: Quiero ir a la playa.
Esteban: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo.
Belén: Es que estoy harta.
Esteban: Ni modo
JP: Let’s hear it again, dramatic speed.
Belén: Quiero ir a la playa.
Esteban: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo.
Belén: Es que estoy harta.
Esteban: Ni modo
JP: One more time with the translation.
Belén: Quiero ir a la playa.
JP: I want to go to the beach.
Esteban: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo.
Fernando: But we have a lot of work.
Belén: Es que estoy harta.
JP: It’s just that I’m sick of it.
Esteban: Ni modo
Fernando: There’s nothing we can do about it.
JP: All right. We’re back. Belen and Esteban don’t seem like they’re enjoying their time at work.
Fernando: Not at all. Belen wants to get out now. She wants to go to the beach: Quiero ir a la playa.
JP: Quiero ir a la playa. All right, what’s the word for beach?
Fernando: playa
JP: All right. La playa is the beach. And Belen actually said, “I want to go to the beach.” So how do you say, “I want?”
Fernando: quiero
JP: Quiero, now that’s the verb: querer, which means to want. Okay. So let’s put it together. I want to go to the beach.
Fernando: Quiero ir a la playa.
JP: And Esteban comes right back saying, “We got too much work to do.”
Fernando: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo. He’s kind of a party pooper.
JP: So what’s the word for work?
Fernando: trabajo
JP: Trabajo. All right. Now, a lot of work?
Fernando: mucho trabajo
JP: Mucho trabajo. Mucho, means a lot. And then the verb is we have.
Fernando: tenemos
JP: Tenemos. That’s the verb: tener, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: So to put it all together, he says, “But we have a lot of work.”
Fernando: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo.
JP: Okay, we’re going to talk about that: pero, later. All right. It means but. Now how does Belen answer this?
Fernando: It’s just that I’m sick of it: Es que estoy harta.
JP: … que estoy harta, right? Now Belen is a woman, so she says: estoy harta. So if it’s a dude you’d say: estoy harto, right?
Fernando: Uh-hmm.
JP: So I’m sick of it. Estoy harto. And then she starts the sentence with a transition phrase.
Fernando: Es que…
JP: Es que … right. It means, “it’s just that.” We’re going to talk about transition phrases later. So let’s put it together; “It’s just that I’m sick of it. I’m fed up. I’ve have it up to here.”
Fernando: Es que estoy harta.
JP: And then Esteban has two little words in Spanish that mean like, “Oh, there’s nothing we can do about it. Oh well.”
Fernando: Ni modo.
JP: Ni modo. Okay, we’re going to talk about: ni modo, more in the vocabulary section. So speaking of vocabulary section, let’s move on.
Fernando: La playa
JP: Beach.
Fernando: la pla-ya, la playa. El trabajo
JP: Job, work.
Fernando: el tra-ba-jo, el trabajo. Harto.
JP: Fed up.
Fernando: har-to, harto. Ni modo.
JP: There’s nothing anyone can do about it.
Fernando: ni mo-do, ni modo.
JP: All right, Fernando, let’s have a closer look at some of these words and phrases.
Fernando: Let’s start with: la playa.
JP: La playa. That means the beach, right?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: This is the place with sand and ocean and barbecues and beach balls and volleyball and stuff.
Fernando: Yes, not the littered with cans or plastic bottles.
JP: Well, actually that’s called: la playa, too, right?
Fernando: Yes. Well, it’s just…
JP: It’s just not as fun.
Fernando: It’s just not as fun, yes.
JP: La playa. Okay, what’s next?
Fernando: el trabajo
JP: El trabajo, now literally, this is work. Now work can mean a couple of things even in English, right?
Fernando: Voy al trabajo.
JP: Or you can say, “I have a job for you.”
Fernando: Tengo un trabajo para tí.
JP: Okay. Or you can say, “I have a lot of work to do.”
Fernando: Tengo mucho trabajo.
JP: Okay. All of those words are: trabajo, and it’s all work, right or job?
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Okay.
Fernando: Harto
JP: Harto, is to be sick and tired of something, right?
Fernando: Fed up.
JP: Harto. And in our dialogue, we heard it in the feminine.
Fernando: Es que estoy harta.
JP: Harta. And the last one?
Fernando: Ni modo
JP: Ni modo. Ni modo, is always an interesting word to translate because there’s all kinds of ways we can translate it, right?
Fernando: It’s very versatile.
JP: Tough luck. Earlier, you were saying like, “Oh well.”
Fernando: In this dialogue, that’s what it means, “Oh well.”
JP: Right, you have to shrug your shoulders.
Fernando: Right.
JP: It’s just like throwing her hands up.
Fernando: Yes, or throwing your hands.
JP: Ni modo.
Fernando: Or rolling your eyes.
JP: Okay. In the printed version of this lesson, I translated it as, “nothing can be done.”
Fernando: There is nothing that can be done.
JP: There is nothing. You’re right. There is nothing you can do. And I wrote that because it’s really hard to write shrugging shoulders and rolling eyes.
Fernando: Yeah, you bet. Of course.
JP: Okay. So, oh well, Ni modo.
Fernando: Oh well.
JP: Should we move on to the grammar section?
Fernando: Yes.

Lesson focus

Fernando: I know we talked about the focus of this lesson.
JP: The transition words.
Fernando: Yes. Let’s go ahead and delve in to that.
JP: Okay. So you know…
Fernando: Oh, I see what you’re doing.
JP: Yeah. I just included a transition word in English.
Fernando: Right.
JP: Transition words are some fluffy words that we’re using in colloquial conversation that don’t add a lot of meaning to the sentence. What they do is they tie the following sentence to whatever was happening in the past, right?
Fernando: Right.
JP: Or they link it somehow or they make a transition which is why they’re called transitions. So in English, we’d often say, “And so.” I know that I will always “so” or “now”. I will do that “now,” comma.
Fernando: Right.
JP: Right. That’s one of mine. Oh “right,” is another one of mine.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Or okay. Fernando knows because he edits the audio for this podcast.
Fernando: Oh, and do I ever.
JP: All right. So let’s talk about some in Spanish. Now we heard a couple of the dialogue. One of them was the word for “but”.
Fernando: I’m sorry, JP?
JP: The however but, Fernando.
Fernando: Right, pero.
JP: Pero, right. It was, “But we have a lot of work.”
Fernando: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo.
JP: Pero tenemos mucho trabajo. Now, Esteban could have just said, “We have a lot of work.”
Fernando: Tenemos mucho trabajo.
JP: But that, pero, shows that he’s contrasting something, right. I want to go to the beach but we have a lot of work, right.
Fernando: Exactly.
JP: So he needs that transition with: pero. Now Belen also made a transition when she says, “It’s just that I’m fed up.”
Fernando: Es que estoy harta.
JP: Es que, there’s two words. That’s a transition phrase that you’re going to hear a lot from Latinos. And in a lot of cases, it’s making an excuse or giving a justification, right. Es que estoy harta, it’s just that I’m fed up, right? Or maybe in English, we’d say, “Whoa, I’m fed up.”
Fernando: Yes. Do you have any other transition words, JP?
JP: Oh, you know I got a whole list of them right here, Fernando.
Fernando: So what are they?
JP: Well, let’s look at a couple. First of all, the word for “and” in Spanish.
Fernando: y
JP: Y. Now in English in school, we’re taught that you don’t start a sentence with and, right? Of course, Spanish is not English, so Spanish has different rules. And you’ll hear Latinos all the time starts sentences with Y.
JP: ¿Y qué vas a hacer este fin de semana?
Fernando: And so, what are you going to do this weekend? So when Fernando just said: y, there, he’s linking it to the last idea. And, right? And so, what are you going to do? I translated it with, and so, which is kind of a transition to the next thing. When you hear, y, as a question, it means “what about”. So like when we say, “I’m fine. How are you?”
Fernando: Yo estoy bien, ¿y tú?
JP: ¿Y tú? or what about you? ¿y tú?
Fernando: Uh-hmm.
JP: I’m just going to go down this list here. I already told you about, pero.
Fernando: Es que.
JP: I already told you about: es que. Entonces, sometimes is a transition word.
Fernando: Entonces que vas a hacer este fin de semana.
JP: So what are you going to do this weekend? Entonces, literally means therefore but in conversation you can just use it to progress with the conversation.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Okay. One of my favorites: o sea.
Fernando: O sea, se prepara la comida de la siguiente forma.
JP: And so, the food is prepared in this manner or this is how you go about preparing this food, this dish.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: We started that sentence with, o sea. Now, I just translated there like, “and so,” therefore, so, it’s another transition. Another filler transition. Now we often hear this transition phrase: o sea, in kind of an airheaded way, right, in Spanish?
Fernando: At times, yeah, definitely.
JP: Do you have an example?
Fernando: O sea, no tengo…
JP: It’s like, “I don’t have one.”
Fernando: Right.
JP: It sounds a little bit air-heady.
Fernando: Yes.
JP: Okay. You’ll hear that a lot especially if you have younger friends like teenage friends that speak Spanish. All right, folks, you now what, I have a whole list of this colloquial transition phrases and words and if you know Latinos and you’ve spent any time listening to them, this list is going to be fun to take a look at. And you’ll find this list in the lesson notes of this lesson which you will find at the website, which is www.spanishpod101.com.
Fernando: Please, do not forget to leave us a comment, a question, suggestions, anything you might have on your mind regarding this lesson. We want to hear from you. So we want o answer any questions you might have. JP?
JP: Yes, sir.
Fernando: I think we’re done.
JP: Okay, everyone, hasta luego.
Fernando: Adiós.